Whether you're hosting guests for a week's stay or having a dinner party, summer months are all about entertaining. Here's how to get your cook on.
Start out with a little creativity. It's not hard to do -- just take a modern classic dish and put a special twist on it. If you're making fajitas, try it with fresh mango, alvocado and jicama along with red and yellow peppers. If you're making steak, slice it up in a salad and add a chic cheese and some candied nuts. Experiment and play.
Farmer's markets, local shops and farms offer a fresh spin on all kinds of foods, from cheese to nuts to fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. Skip the big grocery and shop local instead. You'll find dozens of fresh, amazing options to work into meals and support local business, as well as likely save money too. This isn't just in summer but year round.
Cooking doesn't mean you've got to be the only one in the kitchen. Host a pizza party and have everybody make their own mini pizza, or ask guests to bring grilling items and let everybody take a turn showing their skills on the grill. It's fun to prepare everything together. This can be particularly good for special diet eaters.